Thursday, August 28, 2008

Comic Con Video Behind the Making of Watchmen

With Fridays being slow and holiday weekends being even slower, I'll throw up a video.... For now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Roles That Got Away

Did you know that there is a site dedicated to actors and the roles they turned down? Tis true. Just go to Not Starring and check it out for yourself. The reason I bring it up is because I was cruising the net, looking for something to post about, when I came across a reference that Sean Connery turned down the role of Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings." Now that shocked me. I mean, Sean Connery has been in movies like "Highlander" and "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," but he turned down the role of Gandalf? Sure it's easy for me to say that now, knowing that the movie was a huge success. But still. Anyway, I was looking to confirm that Connery had indeed turned the role down when I stumbled across NotStarring.com (which oddly doesn't list Connery at all) and I thought it would be fun to list some other famous sci-fi/fantasy roles that were offered to some big names who then turned them down. Neo (The Matrix), offered to: Will Smith I actually think this is a good thing. As much as I joke about Keanu Reeves and his lack of acting range, Will Smith would not have been believable as a computer hacker named Neo. Even Smith agrees, saying in a "Wired" interview “I would have absolutely messed up The Matrix. At that point I wasn’t smart enough as an actor to let the movie be—whereas Keanu was.” Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump), offered to: John Travolta Oh thank God. That is my only reaction to John Travolta not taking this role. I don't know why, but I really love this movie. I think Tom Hanks was wonderful in it and I suspect it wouldn't have been even nearly as great with Travolta. Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark), offered to: Tom Selleck This is a well known fact, so I doubt I'm surprising anyone with this one. I've come to associate Indy with Harrison Ford so strongly that I can't envision Selleck in the role. But who knows, maybe Magnum could have pulled it off... Aragorn (Lord of the Rings), offered to: Daniel Day Lewis This is a mildly interesting one. I think Viggo Mortensen was good in the role, but it isn't one of those parts where I couldn't envision someone else playing the part. I suspect that Lewis would have done an excellent job had he decided to take it-- probably upped the intensity factor a few notches. Madison (Splash), offered to: Diane Lane I bet Diane Lane wishes she had decided to do "Splash" rather than Streets of Fire, though her career seems to have fared very well despite missing out on Darryl Hannah's career making role. This is another one in which I think the part could have been played by either actress and been just fine. Lane would have made a lovely mermaid. James Bond, offered to: Cary Grant Hmmmm. Interesting. I think Grant could have pulled of the suave part of the Bond role (like Pierce Brosnan) but I don't think he could have pulled off the tough-guy part as well as Sean Connery. Thank goodness Connery had the good sense to take this role. Bill (Kill Bill), offered to: Kevin Costner Huh? Kevin Costner? Really? What was Quentin Tarantino thinking? Then again, I would have said the same thing about offering the role of Vincent Vega to John Travolta. Marty McFly (Back to the Future), offered to: Eric Stoltz Again, mildly interesting, though I liked Michael J. Fox in the role. Could the movie have been as good with Stoltz in the role? Hard to say. It would have been different. Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean), rumored to have been offered to Jim Carrey I found some references that suggested that Carrey was offered the role of Jack Sparrow before Johnny Depp, though I haven't been able to confirm it for sure. I do think he was considered for the role, but I don't know if it went as far as the offer stage. Anyway. Carrey would have been a silly choice IMO. I just can't see Ace Ventura as a pirate. ....Just imagine the movie landscape if some of these roles had gone to the actors who were first in line to take them. I wonder if it would have made that much difference? Probably. "Cat Woman" might have actually been good if Nicole Kidman had a taken the role (as rumored to have been offered to her)...Then again...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Uh, I doubt it......but what the heck do I know?

For some reason there is this rumor floating around the net that Christopher Nolan wants Cher to play Catwoman in his next Batman movie. Cher? Apparently this story got started by The Daily Telegraph and they're printing it as if it's fact. Is the Telegraph a tabloid? Anyway, here's what they say... The 62-year-old singer and actress is reported to be in talks to play Catwoman opposite Christian Bale in the third Batman film from British director Christopher Nolan. The Oscar-winner will join a cast that includes Johnny Depp as The Riddler as she plays the whip-carrying burglar. The character has also been played by Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry. A studio executive said: "Cher is Nolan's first choice to play Catwoman. He wants to her to portray her like a vamp in her twilight years. "The new Catwoman will be the absolute opposite of Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry's purring creations." Filming of the new Batman instalment, provisionally entitled The Caped Crusader, is due to begin in Vancouver early next year. The only thing that makes this remotely believable is the "vamp in her twilight years" part. But I can't fully buy into the story because it doesn't go with the original Batman story in which Batman and Catwoman have a relationship of sorts. I just can't see Christian Bale and Cher having a romance. **shudder** Also, I haven't heard that Johnny Depp has actually signed on to play the Joker in any future Batman movies and I suspect it would be all over the place if it were true. I think this whole story is bogus. What do you think?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I know I apologize too much...

I hate going too long between posts. I hate it when I'm off topic too often. I'd say I'm an overachiever but it wouldn't be believable. At least not lately. I've wanted to post the last couple of days but I have been having problems with my right hand. I go through bouts of carpel tunnel syndrome and it's been particularly bad the past few days. I was so determined to get some kind of template up that matched my theme that I overworked my hand and it's been numb and tingly for the last 3 or 4 days. I've been trying to lay off typing just to give it a rest. I'm going to give my hand a rest for another day or so and see what that does. If it doesn't feel better I'll go to the doctor. At any rate, I'll try to get back to business a.s.a.p. The Olympics are just about over too, so I should be less distracted this week too. Speaking of the Olympics. Wouldn't it be something if the Chinese women were stripped of their medals for cheating? I don't want to wish anything bad on those athletes. But damn! They're saying that as many as 5 of the girls may have been under-aged. That's pretty egregious in my opinion. Be interesting to see what happens...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Grab-Bag Giveaway

Who says Catholic guilt is a bad thing? In this case, my guilty conscience, and my need to make you like me, has inspired me to do another giveaway. What with my Olympic fixation and my template issues, I have not been a very good hostess and I don't want everyone to leave the party too soon. So, I have a grab-bag of books to giveaway. Some you have seen offered for giveaway before, some you haven't. Some (most) are sequels and some are not. One is YA fiction, another couple are paranormal romance--hopefully something for everyone-- all displayed on the left hand sidebar of the blog-- putting them all in this post was causing me all kinds of grief-- just click on the image to go to Amazon for book descriptions. Like my sequel contest, I am going to pick 3 winners. That means I would like everyone to pick three titles, in order of preference, that you would like to win. First place gets their first choice; Second place will get their first choice-- unless the first place winner already picked that book-- then they get their second choice; Third place-- same idea. So pick 3 books please. To enter, comment here with your picks or email me at sqt1969(at)gmail(dot)com under the header "grab-bag." I will randomly pick 3 winners by Thursday September 3rd. As always, make sure I can reach you easily. If I can't reach a winner within 48 hours I will pass the book(s) on to another entrant. Open to everyone (including you Steve). So check out my sidebar and pick your books. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Simple is best, or so I hear

I keep hearing that my blog is unreadable to some viewers. Damn. I like all the frilly stuff. But I can't keep changing everything all the time and expect to keep anyone coming here so I'm just going to go simple and leave it at that. I don't know that I'll switch to Wordpress anytime soon. I've had too many problems trying to set up a host and I just want to get back to regular blogging. Sorry if this has been tiresome.

Feeling better, but could use some ideas

I don't know if this template is going to hold up. But if it doesn't I'll slap it around and then find something much more boring, but reliable. I finally got some templates to download today, but since this started working again, I went back to it like a the desperate creature I am. Too dramatic to say it's the love of my blogging life? But now I am spent. What? You didn't think it was easy being a drama Queen did you? No ideas about sci-fi. In fact, I feel totally out of the loop. Anyone know what's new and exciting? Wanna share?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Supposedly this template is fixed.....

I'm going back to this template until I can figure out something with Wordpress. I think. Sorry for all the random posts. I'm just tired of my blog being so out of my control. Every time Blogger tweaks the system my blog gets all whacky. I've been having a hell of a time getting another blog set up by using a host. I'm overwhelmed by the ridiculousness of it all. Anyway. I'll figure this out sooner than later. Once I decide what I'm going to do I'll get the links back up and sorted. Permanently I hope.

Don't use Siteground! Ever!

I've been trying all day to get a Wordpress site set up and made the bad mistake of signing on to a service called Siteground. They suck! I can't figure out how to use it at all and there is no live technical assistance. I decided to cancel and they're going to stick it to me with $50 worth of fees even though I haven't even set up a site. Don't use Siteground ever!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Problems

I am having huge problems with Blogger lately. My template isn't showing up at all and when I try to download new templates it won't accept them. I don't know what to do. Please bear with me while I try to fix my blog. I am so frustrated.

Knock! Knock! Is this thing on?

Is it just my site or is Blogger screwing with everyone's templates? Half the time I load my page the final layer of my template doesn't load which means that I'm left with dark blue text over a black background. Ooooh, sexy. I also want to thank everyone for understanding my Olympic fixation right now. I'm usually a people pleaser and try to keep regular, on topic, posts up. But right now, I can't tear myself away from the TV long enough to care about blogging. Um yeah. I did see an ad for a Vin Diesel film, but it's gotten almost no promotion so I'm thinking it may suck. Here's the trailer so you can see what you think. I find myself much more intrigued by The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with Brad Pitt. Can't wait for this one to come out.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Okay, I'm a flake. Will letting you know about P-Dub's new contest earn your forgiveness?

I am so deep into the Olympics that I am totally neglecting everything. I promised to announce a winner for a book giveaway on my book review blog Wednesday, but didn't get it up until after midnight on Thursday. I haven't been visiting my regular blogs.... I don't write... I don't call..... But, it only happens every 2 years (if we count both Winter and Summer Olympics), so I get a free pass. Right? Um, don't I? In a desperate bid to win your acceptance I am going to try to bribe you with the information that P'Dub is giving away two $500 gift certificates to Home Depot. But you gotta enter by THURSDAY NOON PACIFIC TIME. So get on it people! Can I talk Olympics now or is it getting obnoxious? Tell you what, I'll wait to see what the general opinion is on my current obsession before I go on. Though I wouldn't mind discussion some of the current Olympic controversies..... Underage athletes; the Chinese "machine" that pulls children from their homes as early as age 3 to be groomed to compete for their country; Mark Spitz not being invited to the games to watch Phelps break his record... What do you all think? Am I driving you crazy yet?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I may need to beg your indulgence for awhile......

I stayed up to almost 1:00 am to see the men's gymnastics final. Hey, it was a nail biter. And can I say, as much as I want to see the U.S. get the gold, China was freakin' amazing. I think every country must be just gushing with national pride right now. Anyway. I need to find a way to tear myself away from the TV long enough to write something half-way coherent that relates to sci-fi. But not at 1:30 in the morning. I'm barely coherent at 1:30 in the afternoon. I'm sure you understand. So, check out my book review blog for the latest giveaways. I have 3 up currently, so scroll down the page to catch them all. I'm picking a winner for "Underground" on Wednesday, so get your entries in.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'd Apologize.....But I'm too Excited

I was feeling like a total slacker because I haven't posted on any of my blogs since the Olympics started. I am a total Olympic junkie. I can spend hours at a time in front of the TV watching people run around a track or swim laps. That excites me for some reason. And my patience was rewarded today. **Spoiler alert for those who may not have watched the prime time Olympics yet** The American men pulled off a phenomenal win today (yesterday? this morning?) in the men's 400-meter freestyle relay. I mean, it was fantastic. We've been hearing that there was no way the men could win the gold. Going into the race the commentators kept saying that the gold was going to go to France-- the team that had been boasting that they were going to "smash" the Americans. Ah, sweet sweet victory. For those of you who don't follow the Olympics, or don't care about the American performance, let me explain why this race is so significant. Michael Phelps, whom I'm sure everyone has been hearing about, is going for a record breaking 8 gold metals in this Olympics-- hoping to break Mark Spitz's 36-year-old record of 7 gold metals in one Olympics. This race had to be won to make that possible and no one thought it would happen. And it wouldn't have happened if not for a super-super-fast record breaking anchor leg by Jason Lezak. That's right. An Olympian you've probably never heard of. I certainly have never heard of Lezak, but I know his name now. And it wasn't like Phelps, or any of the other swimmers, was slow, it's just that Lezak was on fire. If anyone has ever earned the right to be on the cover of a box of Wheaties it's Lezak. Guess how much he beat the French swimmer by? Eight tenths one-hundreths of a second. If Phelps wins his 8 gold metals I think he owes Lezak a steak dinner. At least.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Best Served Cold

I was putting up the "Quantum of Solace" trailer (see post below) and getting giddier by the minute thinking about a new Bond film. Then it hit me, not only am I excited because it's a new Daniel Craig Bond movie, but it's also a revenge story. Oh I love those. The interesting thing about revenge is that we all have our little payback fantasies. Don't deny it. But we usually don't act on them (at least I hope you don't) so there's nothing better than a revenge flick to get out some vicarious aggression. It might not feel as good as taking a Louisville Slugger to someone's car, but it's probably healthier. In fact, this is such a great topic I may have to go into more detail later about why we love the vicarious thrill we get while watching these stories play out. But for now, here are a few of my favorite revenge films, in no particular order. Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2: I never thought of Uma Thurman as a badass, but she sure wielded a mean katana in Quention Tarrantino's bloody Kill Bill series. I was actually a little scared to watch the first movie when it came out because I kept hearing how violent it was-- not shocking since it was made by Tarrantino. But stylistically it was so over-the-top I found I didn't mind the blood-- it seemed almost cartoonish. Therefore I was able to enjoy Thurman's quest to hunt down everyone who did her wrong. What really shocked me about these movies was how intimidating Darryl Hannah could be. Who knew she had it in her? But at the end, it was all about The Bride and Bill and I loved the whole thing. Payback: Just the name of this movie lets you know what's going on doesn't it? I remember liking this movie a lot when it first came out and I just watched it again recently, and you know what? It's still good. If you haven't seen it, it's about a guy (Mel Gibson) who was betrayed by his wife and his best friend over $70k. Despite being shot in the back, he survives and comes back to reclaim his money. What I liked best about this movie was that Gibson's character was focused on getting exactly what he was cheated out of-- not a penny more. This was Mel at his menacing best. The Crow: This was probably one of the first really dark comic book movies I ever saw and it made such an impression that my tastes have really been defined by mood and style of this movie. I haven't read the graphic novels the movie was based on-- but after reading "Watchmen" I may have to go get it-- so I only know the movie version of the story. Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) and his fiancée are brutally murdered by thugs who break into their apartment. Draven, resurrected and guided by a crow who is his guide between the world of the living and the dead, seeks revenge on those who killed him and his fiancée. Just writing this post reminds me of how much I love this movie. There's such a determination and sadness to Draven's character, made all the more poignant since it was released after Lee's death. I may be up late tonight watching this one again.... War of the Roses: I just watched this one again about a week ago and cracked up throughout the whole thing. I don't know about you, but I love black comedies. If you haven't seen this, it's about a married couple, Barbara and Oliver Rose (Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas) who have decided to get a divorce; though neither side will give up the house. Instead of a civilized separation, the divorce devolves into a messy game of one-upmanship that is cringe-worthy, but funny. It's also a little too real when it comes to marital conflict, but I try not to think about it too much. There are a lot more revenge films out there, many better than the ones on this list, but for some reason these stick out in my mind right now-- probably because I've seen many of them recently. Of the one's I haven't seen in awhile, "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan", "The Punisher" and "Mad Max," come to mind. So what about you? Do you like revenge films? If so, which ones? And are you super excited to see Bond kick some ass this November? I know I am.

I Heart Bond

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Let's Pretend

My husband loves to tease me about my fascination with all things sci-fi, especially comic-book movies. I dragged him out to see "The Dark Knight" again last weekend, though no actually arm-twisting was necessary. Anyway, after we leave the movie he starts asking me stuff like... Hubby: I bet you wish you were Batman and you could ride the Bat-cycle and run around kicking ass.... Me: What are you smoking? I don't want to be Batman. Hubby: No? Then you want to be Wonder Woman or someone like that...I mean, it has to be a girl right? Since you're a girl? Me: (looking at him like he's crazy) Wha....? To my husband, it's perfectly logical to assume that my love of comic book characters means that I actually want to be one. But I like to think I have a healthy understanding of the line between the real world and an imaginary one. But maybe my husband has a better understanding of things than I do. Take Comic Con for example. I really wish I could have gone, mostly because Hugh Jackman showed up-- but I digress. Comic Con, while a very cool assemblage of all things sci-fi/fantasy related, has become well known for attracting people who love to dress up as their heroes. To some extent I get this. Who wouldn't want to be Captain Kirk, Wolverine or Wonder Woman? Me? I'd like to wake up tomorrow looking like Angelina Jolie, but that's another story... But here's the thing, I don't personally want to dress up as Lara Croft (or any other Angelina persona) because just wearing the costume won't make me magically transform into that person. No matter how cool I want to be, I'll just be a geek in a costume. In my earlier life, before I chose to play-it-safe after becoming a mom, I did like to do as many interesting things as I could. I traveled, para-sailed, drove fast cars-- stuff like that. Sure it's not adventure novel stuff, but they were wonderful experiences to me. The point being that I tried to live an interesting life that was my own, not a knock-off of someone else's. In the modern world however, it seems that people are feeling the need to go to extraordinary lengths to make their own lives interesting--in a pretend world. I think the Reality TV show phenomenon is a direct result of this. I mean, everyone wants to be famous now, don't they? In fact, I believe that most "Reality" shows wouldn't have to offer prizes to get people on the show. Nope. All people really want is to be on TV and be a star. Just look at Youtube. The amount of stupidity on display just for the sake of attention is staggering. And you know what? It appears that there is now a mental illness that backs me up on this. Yep, it's called "The Truman Show Delusion." ~From The New York Post TWO Montreal shrinks have diagnosed a new mental illness where sufferers are convinced their life is one, big reality TV show. They're calling the disorder the "Truman Show Delusion," after the 1998 movie starring Jim Carrey. Psychologist brothers Joel and Ian Gold, who are writing a paper about the illness, have treated five men, all between the ages of 25-34, for the disorder. "I realized that I was and am the center, the focus of attention by millions and millions of people," one patient told the doctors. "My family and everyone I knew were and are actors in a script, a charade whose entire purpose is to make me the focus of the world's attention." "The delusions we treat are narrow," Dr. Joel Gold told Canada's National Post newspaper. "There is Capgras Delusion, where someone will think his family has been replaced by doubles. "Or the Fregoli Delusion, where someone believes that one person is persecuting him," he says. "The Truman Show Delusion, though, involves the entire world. We really should have seen this coming. I wonder what it is about the world that has people craving so much attention? Personally I think the root of it all is the out-of-proportion amount of fawning that our celebrities receive. And I'm not guiltless here. After all, my fantasy is to look like Angelina Jolie and marry Hugh Jackman-- is that so wrong? But at the end of the day, I know what really matters. I might not wake up tomorrow looking like my favorite pouty-lipped actress, but I also won't wake up homeless or hungry. I'll wake up with two healthy children, a lovely home and husband who loves me. Why would I want to be anyone else?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

My Good Weekend

You know what makes a geek happy? Seeing "The Dark Knight" again, (still awesome) and getting my copy of "Watchmen" delivered on Friday so I can savor it over the whole weekend.

Oh yeah.

I haven't read a graphic novel since I was a kid so maybe I'm overly impressed. But I don't think so. This book isn't a Hugo Award winner for nothing.

I'm only about half-way through, so I'm going to hold off on a comprehensive description for now.

So let me just say this.

Wow. So cool.


Obviously I'm not the only one who thinks so. Look at this. I love it when pop-culture overlaps.


I'm going to go watch the movie trailer again........

Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday Feature, Favorite Posts Revisited: Where Does Normal End and Crazy Begin?

This post seemed sort of extra-relevant to me since Comic-Con was just last weekend (and I couldn't go....drat!). When I originally posted this it generated a lot of comments, so I'd like to hear what people have to say now that the conventions seem to be getting a little more mainstream. **Original Post** Stewart over at House of Sternberg has put out another writing assignment. I admit, I look forward to these. I used to write a lot more than I do now and I like the kick in the behind the assignments give me. This weeks assignment is on "Weird Addictions." Before you tune out let me reassure you this post is not my writing assignment. No, the assignment just got me to thinking. I like to ponder the assignment for a bit before I actually write it. Luckily, the assignments are only about 1000 words in length, so I usually have plenty of time to work out in my head what I plan on writing. In fact, I usually plan the whole thing out in my head and spend about 15 minutes actually writing the thing. But this week has been a little different. I wanted to write about a subject I had heard about but had no real knowledge of. So I did what I always do and googled the subject. And an interesting thing happened while I was looking up various fetishes. Star Trek conventions were listed under fetishes. Huh? For clarification I went to dictionary.com and looked up fetish. fet·ish –noun 1. an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency. 2. any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect, or devotion: to make a fetish of high grades. 3. Psychology. any object or nongenital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation. Ok, I get the first two definitions, those make sense when applied to Star Trek. It's the third application that I have a hard time with. According to this article, Star Trek conventions appear to be a popular stomping ground for pedophiles. I must admit, this really threw me. I've always liked pretty much anything that deals with sci-fi and fantasy, but I think I've always been able to make a pretty clear distinction between reality and fantasy. That said, I never really thought anything of people who liked to go to various sci-fi/fantasy conventions. I would certainly never label someone who does as kinky or assume they have a sexual fixation of any sort. But there seems to be a common attitude that sci-fi conventions of most sorts have some sort of erotic undertone to them. Honestly, I never thought this. But I found some sites that seem to underscore this sentiment. One offers advice to newbie convention goers. It explains that many of the costumes may be scanty and the etiquette for dealing with some sexually charged behavior. Ok then. So I'm wondering if I have stumbled onto a couple of sites that offer a very limited view of conventions. I know there are some people who post here who have gone to conventions in the past and have had very fun, positive experiences. So why do you think these kinds of articles pop up on the subject? Do you think sci-fi fandom is mostly misunderstood or do you think there is an element of truth to what they are saying? I haven't been to a sci-fi convention, but I already have an opinion on the subject. I think conventions are like anything else and cover the whole spectrum. I bet if I went to one, I would be able to meet a ton of people just like me; someone who doesn't dress up in costume and doesn't know every line of Star Wars by heart. I also bet I could find the rabid sci-fi fan who knows every trivial tidbit of information on Spock. I bet I could also find people who speak fluent Klingon or Ferenghi. Maybe William Shatner was right when he told a group of trekkies on Saturday Night Live to "Get a life." Whatever. But I also think most of those people can distinguish fantasy from fiction. At least I hope so. But at what point does the fantasy go to far? When have we crossed the line into the crazy zone? Personally, I think if no one is harmed in the process, then who cares? But am I being too liberal? Or maybe I am naive. Should society look at conventions as a potential breeding ground of deviants? Should I keep my children far far away? Really, what do you think?